A Palestinian citizen of Israel crossed into Syria using a paraglider with the apparent goal of joining rebel fighters there, the Israeli army said on Sunday.
“A surveillance post identified an Israeli civilian entering Syrian territory using a paraglider” late Saturday, an army statement read.
“The preliminary review indicates that the civilian that entered is a resident of Jaljulia,” a Palestinian town in central Israel.
A military spokeswoman told AFP the army was “examining the possibility he had entered Syria in order to join rebels”.
The army said the paraglider took off from the southern section of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, adjacent to southern Syria.
With an Israeli gag order in place, reporting on the situation was banned in the country until Sunday morning.
On Saturday night, social media lit up with reports of Israeli air activity and speculation about what might be happening.
The Al-Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, which is supportive of the Islamic State group and active in the Deraa area of south Syria, addressed rumours circulating about the flight on Saturday night, stating on its Facebook page it had not taken an Israeli captive.
According to the Shin Bet internal security agency in Israel, around 45 Palestinian citizens of Israel have joined fighting forces in Syria, mainly entering through Turkey. At least four have been killed in fighting there, and 10 arrested upon returning to Israel.
Shin Bet has warned of the “security threat posed by Israelis joining IS after being exposed to propaganda disseminated by the group, primarily via the Internet.
“Their return to Israel, with knowledge of and practical experience in terrorism and warfare, exposes the country to significant risks of severe terrorism,” the agency said in a statement earlier in the year.